Male Opps: Blizzard's Overwatch launches campaign as spend skyrockets (Score 61)

Sales Lead: It's snowing ad dollars since Blizzard Entertainment recently teamed up with John Cena on a campaign for Overwatch 2.

  • The company enlisted Twitch streamers and ended up getting the broadcast in front of over 65k concurrent Twitch stream viewers.
  • The announcement showed viewers that the new Overwatch season will feature Cena as the voice actor for a character called The Enigma.
  • Blizzard also hacked into the Twitch streamer partners' streams by overlaying messages with tidbits of information about Cena.
    • The creators were confused, but we will keep you updated as this progresses.
  • For the meantime, Blizzard is relying on its gaming media, agency partner, and its creator community.
    • UK-based social creative agency partner Kairos Group will continue planning and managing this campaign while recruiting other gaming creators.
    • The company has also started leaning more on experiential activations at campuses.
  • The brand will likely:
    • Pursue additional influencer partnership and experiential opportunities
    • Keep working with Twitch advertising
    • Continue rolling out work for the new Overwatch season
    • Further increase spend
    • Seek additional new agency partners
  • Target demographic
    • A wide but male-skewed audience ranging from Gen-Z through Gen-X

Additional spending insights:

  • Broadcast insights (TV ad creative spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)
    • YTD spend: So far this year, Blizzard has spent approximately $4.1m on national TV commercials; by this point last year, it had not utilized this channel.
    • Last year: The company has spent much more YTD than when it spent around $565.3k in 2022 and didn't utilize it at all in 2021.
    • 2023 ad programming: Blizzard's 2023 commercials have targeted male sports enthusiasts watching shows such as the 2021 NCAA Basketball Tournament, the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, SportsCenter, UEFA Champions League Today, and Rick and Morty.
  • Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)
    • YTD spend: YTD, Blizzard has allocated roughly $7.9m toward digital ads for Overwatch 2, a massive increase from the roughly $216.8k spent by this point in 2022.
    • YTD data: Since the beginning of 2023, the game has earned around 597.7m digital impressions via YouTube (88%), Instagram (6%), Facebook (4%), desktop display (1%), and desktop video (1%) ads.
    • Last year: Overwatch 2's estimated full-year 2022 spend reached $8.4m; it had not yet started utilizing this channel in 2021.
  • Additional channel insights  
    • The Overwatch game invests in Google Ads along with Facebook, Twitter (X), and online video (via ads.
    • Overwatch sponsors podcasts such as Timcast IRL, the Drew and Mike Show, The Morning Stream, Retronauts, and Dr. Football.

Additional agency insights:

  • Opportunity: Blizzard may seek additional new agency partners to fuel awareness of the upcoming Overwatch season, so reach out soon to offer creative, PR, digital analytics, multicultural, programmatic, influencer, and/or experiential services.
  • Current agency roster (Blizzard):
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Kairos Group (UK): Social creative agency partner
    • Liquid + Arcade: Media agency partner
    • OMD: Media agency partner

Insight Sources: Broadcast insights estimated by iSpot; digital spend insights estimated by Pathmatics; additional channel insights estimated by Vivvix; podcast insights by Podchaser.